Baileigh Meinhard, a sixth grade student at Cumberland Middle School, won the Cumberland County Public Schools Spelling Bee held January 17, 2019. Baileigh is the daughter of Megan Hathaway and Todd Meinhard of Cartersville. She competed against other grade-level winners from grades 2-8 and successfully spelled “irked” to win. Runner-up was Brianna Barker, a 6thgrade student. She is the daughter of Jesse and Nikki Barker of Cartersville. Other grade-level winners included Sebastian Mayes, 1stgrade, son of Frank Mayes, Jr. and Melissa Curtis of Farmville; Alana Jackson-Lewis, 2ndgrade, daughter of David Jackson, Sr. of Farmville; Jaiden Magbie, 3rdgrade, daughter of Aisha Fulani of Farmville; Karma Dudley, 4thgrade, daughter of Cartisa Childress of Cumberland; Lucas Brown, 5thgrade, son of Robert and Sierra Brown of Farmville; and Brienca Donikin, 7thgrade, daughter of Chandra Donikin of Cartersville. Runners-up included Kenneth Wells, 1stgrade, son of Delita Woodman of Cartersville; Robert Heath, 2ndgrade, son of Jennifer and Robert Heath of Farmville; Makayla Eppes, 3rdgrade, daughter of Terrell and Sabrina Eppes of Farmville; Kamira Holman, 4thgrade, daughter of Keith and Alesha Holman of Cumberland; Adalie Ruehrmund, 5thgrade, daughter of Shauna and Shawn Bradley of Cartersville; Autumn Seaver, 6thgrade, daughter of Richard Seaver and Crystal Brockwell of Cumberland; Erick Smith, 7thgrade (who competed in the division spelling bee), son of Myisha Smith of Cartersville; and Cheyenne Crenshaw, 8thgrade, daughter of Andrew and Norma Crenshaw of Cartersville.
The spelling bee took place in the Cumberland Elementary School media center. Alana Johnson served as the announcer for the event. Mr. Kyle Cummings, a middle school teacher, called the spelling words. The panel of judges included Mrs. Lynde Roberts (CMS Media Specialist), Ms. Kathryn Garrett (Career Development Specialist), Ms. Nicole Wingo (Speech-Language Pathologist), and Ms. Joanna Hale (School Psychologist).
Baileigh received a Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, courtesy of Scripp’s National Spelling Bee and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She will advance to the regional competition to be held on March 9, 2017, at the Library of Virginia in downtown Richmond. The winner of the Regional Spelling Bee will receive a $1,500 scholarship and an all-expenses-paid family trip to the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational promotion, having been conducted for over 9 decades, and is sponsored by the E. W. Scripps Company. Local competitions are co-sponsored by newspapers, such as the Times-Dispatch, or other high-profile community organizations and businesses. The spelling bee was established to “help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.” To participate in the contest, students must be under 16 years of age, be enrolled in 8thgrade or below, and attend a school which has officially enrolled in the program.